The most exciting part remains under the hood, for now. Version 1.4 comes with the ability to build an experimental version for Linux. Thanks go to Per Eckerdal for leading the charge and bringing his Linux expertise. If you have the time and the ability to build Linux software, feel free to check out the soundplane repository on github and experiment with it.
Please note! This is not currently "support for Linux." It is an experimental build aimed toward future support. So please don't email me at support about Linux things, but please do share your experiences or questions on the hardware forum, and I'll be very interested and offer help when I can. So far I hear that it works—with some issues—on one Debian system, but is not playing well with Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi.
The cross-platform build is also a move toward supporting Windows. I'm currently focused on getting the next plugin out and there is not a firm schedule for this work, but it's a thing I want to see happen.
With Aalto 1.7, aftertouch is implemented in an MPE-compatible way—all of the factory Aalto patches will play expressively with Soundplane, LinnStrument, and other MPE-aware controllers over MIDI. And adding pressure, x or y control to any of your existing Aalto patches is just a virtual patch cable away. I’m excited to see more of the fruits of this cooperation.
MPE stands for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression. It's a way of using MIDI to transmit the rich, per-note expressive performances that instruments like the Haken Continuum, Seaboard, Linnstrument and of course our own Soundplane are capable of. Geert Bevin, longtime Eigenharp player and currently a software developer at Moog Music, lead the charge on this effort, and I thank him for moving things forward. You can find Geert's post with the MPE specifications here: [expressiveness.org]
Many smart and experienced people, including all us makers of new and ambitious controllers, looked over a draft of this spec and contributed changes. MPE makes sense, is easy to implement, and should be very useful. With its addition Aalto becomes one of a just a few great sound makers out there for per-note expression. I am hotly anticipating more Linnstrument+Aalto, Seaboard+Aalto sounds.
Soundplane owners have always had a great connection to Aalto over OSC. But the big deal for the Soundplane is that now, while we are still waiting for the OSC-based composition environment of our dreams, we can use ordinary DAWs to record and edit an entire Soundplane performance.
Aalto version 1.7 also brings improved Soundplane compatibility with MIDI patches, optimized animation drawing, and bug fixes. MPE support in Kaivo synthesizer will follow next month with other changes.
1.7 is of course a free update again. The demo is at the usual place, and license holders as usual can click "My downloads" up on the right there to get your update.
Macintosh users, please note:
Aalto 1.7 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Version 1.6 of Aalto is now available for Mac and Windows. This version contains many improvements for efficiency and host compatibility.
New in Aalto version 1.6: